From the time I was a small boy, I’ve had an awareness of God, a hunger. As a teenager, I looked into philosophy, Eastern religions, music, and back-to-nature lifestyles to try to put life in perspective. At eighteen I accepted Jesus’ invitation to come follow him and dedicated my life to him.
Through rebellion and anger I left the Catholic Church and fellowshipped among “independent” Christian churches. In fact, I became a Protestant pastor for twelve years. Independently I tried to listen to God and over many years composed a theology similar to a patchwork quilt; insights and perspectives from various books, speakers, and acquaintances that were oftentimes very good.
While I’m very thankful for all I learned as a Protestant pastor, I became aware that I was not standing on objective truth. Rather, I was standing on subjective truth, truth as I perceived it. This left me with a foundation that was as big as myself. By studying salvation history I discovered that God, as a loving Father, was trying to raise a family, and it was within his family plan that truth was passed on. This realization, among others, led me back to the Catholic Church, the Church founded on Peter and the apostles.
When I returned to the Catholic Church I picked up the narrative thread of my story. I found the form and direction that gave me freedom and life. Accepting and embracing the Catholic Church brought a deep resonance of peace within my soul. For when I picked up the narrative thread of my story, I found that intertwined within that thread was God’s story.
In this series we will look at how God gradually revealed himself to man throughout history, starting with Adam and Eve, then culminating in what would finally become his one holy Catholic Church. Emphasis will be placed on both the role of family and the value of story in salvation history. Both are important in terms of personally and corporately embracing and transmitting the Church’s message. In addition, we will discuss the importance of understanding the big picture within the Bible and introduce a practical way to read the books of the Bible as a contiguous narrative.
You are invited to come on this family adventure. Along the way you will begin to see why God created you and what your future holds. Look for new parts in this series on Saturdays in August.
You May Also Like:
Getting Closer to Jesus
Scripture & Tradition: The Story & the Life
You Were Made for Narrative, But Do You Know Which One?
The Bible Timeline: The Story of Salvation [Bible Study Program]
Jeff Cavins is passionate about helping people understand Scripture and become disciples of Jesus Christ. Though he was born Catholic, Jeff went to Bible school and served as a Protestant minister for twelve years before reverting to the Catholic Faith. He then quickly became a leading Catholic evangelist and author. Jeff is best known for creating The Great Adventure Bible study programs published by Ascension, which have been used by hundreds of thousands of people to engage in Scripture in a life-changing way. Some of his recent projects include The Activated Disciple, The Jeff Cavins Show (his podcast), and the Great Adventure Bible studies, Ephesians: Discover Your Inheritance, and Wisdom: God’s Vision for Life.
This post is an excerpt from “His Story is Your Story” by Jeff Cavins, a chapter in Catholic for a Reason: Scripture and the Mystery of the Family of God, published by Emmaus Road Publishing. It was published on The Great Adventure Blog—Ascension Blog’s former home—July 13, 2015. For more information on Great Adventure Bible studies, click here.
Featured image by congerdesign from Pixabay
I, also believe His story is Our story…I also believe in the importance of thinking of us as God’s family…But, I really don’t know of a family that can say that they don’t have some kind of brokenness that seems to run along the lines of the family; passed down from one generation to another…and yet at the same time we come in such a multi-varied way…that one in the family may respond in an analytical was; another in a creative way; and yet another in a more physical way…When I was teaching school, one of the things I found very helpful were to try and incooperate as many of the different learning styles in the lesson as possible…that way, those who learned cognitively got it their way; those who needed to learn it kinetically got it their way; those who needed to hear it heard it; etc. I tried to involve as many of the senses as possible…now it is just not possible for one person to do it “all.” So, I had set up the room with groups; and had two better students paired up with two or three others that may need further prompting…I always told them to discuss their questions with their table partners first before asking me…mainly, because I could invariably count on those asked at the tables to instinctive to be able to come up a way to get it across better than I could…Did it always happen that way? No, but it empowered the students and made them feel like they had a real say in their own learning…And I think this is also the way God works with us through Church…I am not worried so much about which Church someone goes to be “fulfilled” or to get on the road to following Jesus…It is the goal of all to just keep that in mind…and to move always towards that goal, encouraging others when they show signs of following the virtues that are markers to being on God’s path…We don’t have a “corner on the market” of that…just as no other Church does either…And my personality, and make up fits the Catholic Church…but there are many friends of mine who do not…but I am okay with that…and from what I get from them…they are, too!! Remember the rainbow set in the sky as God’s sign of promise that he would never destroy us by flood again? Well, look at one again closely…A rainbow has many different colors, which together we call a “bow”…they run parallel with each other…and the colors form a beautifully wonderful image…of what, I like to think, is God’s way of saying that “we can agree to disagree” and yet, still live together in perfect harmony…
I might add…Jesus summarized the ten commandments that the Father had given Moses…and they were simple: Love God (the first three commandments); Love others as yourself (the other seven)…And at the same time Jesus said, I did not come to do away with the Law, but to fulfill it. So through this, as I see it, God and Jesus are telling us first comes the Law; then there is Love and Mercy to cover over the Law…As I interpret this…The Law is important, necessary, and needed…however, it must be tempered entirely by Love, compassion, and Charity…It has been my experience that when I treat people in this way, I don’t destroy their ego, their self worth, or their Hope…So many times, I will accept misconceptions about myself simply because for that moment, I know that there is a reason God has presented that issue to me and the one I am communicating with…Do I concern myself about the “ins” and “outs” of it? I used to, but not anymore…I know, He is running this “ship” and has control…and I have decided not to “fight” Him anymore…We just will talk about my concerns…and I will express my questions, fears, and doubts…Then, I leave it at that…for I know in good time (His timing is perfect) He will provide an answer…Will it be in my time, maybe, maybe not…I don’t know…I am the one in charge!! I am just the “student”!! He is the “teacher”!!
[…] taught them to hope for salvation.” As the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out, the story of the Bible is the story of God offering covenants to mankind, because God is always inviting us to become his […]